KPN increases monitoring of 112 and wants further safeguarding of access


On Monday 24 June, a disruption occurred to KPN’s telephone network. As a result, customers could not make or receive calls between approximately 4 PM and 7 PM via KPN’s fixed and mobile network. The emergency number 112 was also inaccessible. The mobile data network (3G/4G) remained accessible, as did the fixed Internet connections. KPN has initiated increased monitoring in order to prevent this problem from reoccurring. KPN will also investigate how access to 112 can be further safeguarded. In addition, KPN will undertake an extensive evaluation of this disruption, also with an external independent party, so that the correct conclusions can be drawn and to ensure that this kind of incident can be prevented in the future.

“We regret that this could have happened, and we offer our sincere apologies to our customers and also to the Dutch society,” said Joost Farwerck, COO and member of the KPN Board of Management. “We immediately established a crisis team and yesterday afternoon and evening every possible effort was made to find a solution. Thankfully, as a result, by early evening service was resumed and 112 was also accessible again.”

“It goes without saying, KPN will evaluate this disruption thoroughly, because this should never have happened,” added Farwerck. “In this evaluation, we will work together with the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Telecom Agency and other relevant bodies. Of course, we want to learn from this disruption, so that we can draw the correct conclusions and ensure that this kind of incident can be prevented in the future.” The service was resumed around 7 PM, as a result of which 112 was accessible again and KPN customers could make calls.

Extra monitoring and further safeguarding of 112 access
The telephony and 112 disruption was resolved at around 7 PM yesterday evening and all telephone traffic has since been routed in the correct manner via KPN’s networks. KPN has initiated increased monitoring in order to prevent this problem from reoccurring. KPN has also initiated extra monitoring of the routing platform and the 112 service. In the second half of 2019, KPN will institute a new 112 platform and will investigate whether it can incorporate direct links to other telecom providers so that, in the event of a disruption such as that experienced yesterday, the traffic will still reach its destination via other networks.

Exceptional disruption, investigation into cause
KPN is currently investigating how the service failure could have happened. The exact circumstances are still being investigated, but it appears that the telephony disruption was caused by a problem in KPN’s routing platform. The quadruple routing system is the system that sends all incoming telephone calls to the correct destination. KPN suspects that there was a fault in the software which occurred simultaneously in the four routing systems. The problem arose very quickly and the monitoring systems did not respond adequately. This is still being investigated.

As a result of the disruption, the telephone traffic of KPN customers was unable to reach the correct destination and the telephone traffic destined for 112 also did not get through. The disruption that occurred yesterday evening can be called exceptional, especially given the quadruple routing system. The 112 platform itself remained functional. As part of the evaluation, KPN will have an independent external party analyze the disruption and make recommendations for further improving the processes and systems.